SOUTHBOUND

1. It’s Wednesday, August 31, 2016. The election is 69 days away. The end of the year is 122.

2. There must be some mind game that Trump is playing with us in which this whirlwind trip to Mexico makes sense.

Is he trying to prove he can meet the president of Mexico on short notice? OK. Not sure what that accomplishes, but hey.

Is he cramming before he gives his scheduled speech on immigration tonight in Arizona? I don’t know how it goes at Fordham and Penn, but cramming usually doesn’t work. If you don’t know the facts about Mexico by now, you probably should have spent the time reading the books you have no patience for, instead of tweeting gossip about Morning Joe.

Does it make Trump look presidential? I suppose it does to the people with the Trump signs in their yard.

Normally speaking, though, when a leader travels outside his or her country, you would hope there would be some understandable agenda. If all Trump is doing is meeting the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at the palace and then flying back, then it’s just a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

We’ll know in a few hours how this all goes down. As with everything else Trump, he’s determined to be the center of attention today, too.

3. Speaking of planes flying south, the first commercial flight from the U.S. to Cuba in 55 years landed this morning.

It was a JetBlue jet from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara, and was the first of what will soon be scores of daily flights from this country to one that has been verboten to Americans since the days of the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

I imagine there are two types of Americans who would want to visit Cuba.

The most prominent would be those of Cuban descent who would either be visiting their native land for the first time since fleeing it, or those born here looking for never-seen relatives. From a humanitarian viewpoint, that’s the best thing about the thaw in relations between the two countries.

The other group is the one inspired by “The Godfather, Part II,” “Guys and Dolls” and other films. It’s the lure of a Havana with crazy drinks, great music and wild dancing. It’s driving through a city – in a vintage American muscle car – that hasn’t changed much since Fidel Castro took over in 1959.

I don’t know that Cuba is high on my list of places to visit. But I am a little curious. Some of you who might be a little more curious might find the lure of the island too much to resist.

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